What is this medication?
Antibiotic, Sulfonamide Derivative
Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprim, Bactrim/Septra is used for various infections depending on your common local bacterial strains for various infections and based on local resistance patterns. Not all antibiotics work for all infections and efficacy can vary from area to area and vary with time. It is common in North America for use in bite wound infections, COPD exacerbations, diabetic foot infections, infectious diarrhea, prostatitis, some sexually transmitted infections, skin or soft tissue infections, urinary tract infections, etc.
How does this medication work?
Sulfamethoxazole inhibits bacterial production of folic acid and growth by inhibiting dihydrofolic acid formation from para-aminobenzoic acid. Trimethoprim inhibits the following step of reducing dihydrofolic acid to tetrahydrofolate. Together they inhibit sequential enzymes in the folic acid pathway which affects amino acid and nucleotide production eventually resulting in cell death.
How should I take this medication?
Weight based dosing is done via trimethoprim dosing. Each double strength tablet contains 160mg trimethoprim and 800mg sulfamethoxazole. The single strength tablet contains 80mg trimethoprim and 400mg sulfamethoxazole. Standard oral dosing for adults is 1-2 dual strength tablets every 12-24 hours. The ratio of sulfamethoxazole to trimethoprim is 5:1 across all dosage forms.
How to Take: Follow instructions provided by physician/pharmacy label, take with a whole glass of water, take consistently at same times each day, store at room temperature. Can be taken with or without food, but with food may reduce risk of stomach upset.
You Need to Avoid: Avoid excessive sunlight exposure
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Before starting Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprim, Bactrim/Septra make sure your physician is aware of any allergies (Sulfa), medications you currently take, if you have asthma, liver disease, kidney disease, thyroid disorders, are pregnant, or breastfeeding.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of medication, try to take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, take only that scheduled dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
How should I store this medication?
Keep out of the reach of children at all times. Store at room temperature, 59 to 86° F (15 to 30° C). Protect from light. Keep the container tightly closed. Properly dispose of any unused medication after the expiration date.
What are the possible side effects of using this medication?
Nausea, anorexia, rash, urticaria (hives), photosensitivity, diarrhea, dizziness, dyspepsia, headache, lethargy
(Note this is not a complete list of side effects, only common ones)
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